Toothpaste on…Silver?

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While on the hunt for something completely different at Goodwill, I somehow found myself attracted to a row of old silver instead. So shiny!! Well, they could be…

I had recently read an article about shining silver with toothpaste – weird, I know! – so I picked up these two pieces (including a Wm Rogers serving plate that I’ve seen listed on eBay for $200!) for less than $10 and swore that I would head straight home and polish them to their former glory.

Everyone has toothpaste at home, right?! We do. So, why have they been sitting on a shelf looking just like this for MONTHS?? Best laid plans…

Over the weekend, after passing them for the umpteenth time and whispering something to myself about remembering to do that project “next week”, I stopped and decided to do it right then! I pulled out a fresh tube of Colgate and got to work.

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That is the hitch, by the way – the toothpaste should be paste, not gel…at least, that’s what I’ve read. I started with the tray, rubbing a dab of toothpaste in a circular motion, much like you would silver polish. I saw the tarnish coming up.

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One half down, I rinsed with warm water and dried with a towel. I could actually see a difference!

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The covered dish proved a bit more stubborn. It took me a lot more paste, the addition of a paper towel for added scrubbing power, and some serious elbow grease to go from this…

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to this…and that was just the lid.

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In the end, I can’t honestly say that the toothpaste method is worth it. I’ve had a much  easier time removing tarnish with tinfoil and baking soda. For larger pieces, I think good old silver polish is probably the way to go. However, in a pinch, when guests are arriving in 20 minutes, you’ve forgotten to polish the creamer, and you don’t have silver polish in the house…I know this happens to you often…well, toothpaste will be your best friend!

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